Carrots are a popular root vegetable that’s easy to grow as long as it’s planted in loose, sandy soil. Most varieties of carrots are resistant to pests and diseases, and they are also a good late season crop that can tolerate frost.
Carrots’ root is rich in sugar, and a great source of vitamins and carotene. Not all carrots are orange; varieties vary in color from purple to white!
If there is a challenge to growing carrots, it’s just having soil that’s not too heavy—or, you’ll end up with stunted round balls! Most carrot varieties need deep, loose soil.
Carrots are grown from seed and take about four months to mature.
- Plan to plant seeds outdoors 3 to 5 weeks before the last spring frost date.
- Carrots are ideally grown in full sunlight, but can tolerate a moderate amount of shade.
- Plant carrot seeds 3 to 4 inches apart in rows. Rows should be at least a foot apart.
- Make sure your soil is free of stones; carrots need deeply tilled soil that they can push through.
- Have you ever seen a carrot that has grown “legs” or forked? Fresh manure, or even recently applied rotted manure, can cause carrots to fork and send out little side roots. Don’t use it before you plant your seeds.
- Gently mulch to retain moisture, speed germination, and block the sun from the roots.
- Soil should be well drained and loose to prevent forking and stunting of the root growth.
- Once plants are an inch tall, thin so they stand 3 inches apart. Snip them with scissors instead of pulling them out to prevent damage to the roots of remaining plants.
- Water at least one inch per week.
- Weed diligently.
- Fertilize 5-6 weeks after sowing.
- Carrots taste much better after a couple of frosts. Following the first hard frost in the fall, cover carrot rows with an 18-inch layer of shredded leaves to preserve them for harvesting later.
- Get more tips for growing carrots.
- Flea Beetles
- Aster Yellow Disease will cause shortened and discolored carrot tops and hairy roots. This disease is spread by pests as they feed from plant to plant. Keep weeds down and invest in a control plan for pests such as leafhoppers. This disease has the ability to overwinter.
- Carrots are mature at around 2 ½ months and ½ inch in diameter. You may harvest whenever desired maturity is reached.
- You may leave mature carrots in the soil for storage if the ground will not freeze.
- To store freshly harvested carrots, twist off the tops, scrub off the dirt under cold running water, let dry and seal in airtight plastic bags, and refrigerate. If you simply put fresh carrots in the refrigerator, they’ll go limp in a few hours.
- Carrots can be stored in tubs of moist sand for winter use.
- Nantes varieties are 6 to 7 inches long, cylindrical (not tapered), and entirely edible. They are medium-sized, sweet and mild, and have a crisp texture.
- Danvers carrots are a classic heirloom carrot 6–8” long that tapers at the end, with a rich, dark orange color. This variety can handle heavy soil better than most varieties.
- ‘Little Finger’ is a small Nantes type of carrot only 4 inches long and one inch thick. Great for containers.
- ‘Bolero’: resists most leaf pests.
- ‘Thumberline’: round carrot, good for clumpy or clay soil.
India Gold, Pusa Kesar and Half Long Danvers can be cultivated.
Carrot is a cool season crop and will develop a good colour when grown at 15°C to 20°C. The crop needs deep loose loamy soil. It requires a pH ranging from 6.0 to 7.0 for higher production.
Carrot can be grown throughout the year at an elevation above 1500 metres with assured irrigation. At elevations between 1000 – 1500 metres, it can be grown during July – February.
Planting can be done during August.
About 4 kg/ha is required.
Preparation of field
Prepare the land to a fine tilth and form raised beds of one metre breadth and convenient length.
Two ploughings are given and ridges and furrows are formed at 30 cm spacing.
Mark the rows with spacing of 25 – 30 cm apart. Sow the seeds mixed with sand (one part of seed with 4 parts of sand).
A spacing of 10 cm between plants
A spacing of 5 cm between plants
Irrigation is done once in five days.
Application of fertilizers
30 t/ha FYM and 90:90:90 kg/ha NPK are applied as basal dose and 45:45:45 kg/ha NPK after 45 days of sowing. Apply 25 kg of ZnSO4/ha as basal.
Spray Fluchloralin 1 lit a.i./ha immediately after sowing the seeds to control weeds or the first weeding to be done on 15th day of sowing. Thinning and earthing up should be given on 30th day.
Splitting of roots is a physiological disorder which is usually seen when there is a sudden increase in soil moisture after prolonged drought. Forking is another phenomenon where in the hard soil does not allow the straight growth of tap root which results in formation of forked root. Forked roots and split roots fetch poor price in market. Keeping the soil moisture at optimum condition will help to keep the soil also loose thereby help to avoid splits and forked roots.
Carrot is not much affected by pests.
Application of neem cake @ 1 ton/ha at planting to control root knot nematode, Meloidogyne spp.
Leaf spot can be controlled by spraying Mancozeb at 2 g/lit.
25 – 30 t/ha in 100 – 120 days.